Via Arizona Economics, no wonder I couldn’t find the provision in the bill ordering citizens to carry their papers at all times: Turns out I was reading the wrong version. The one I linked yesterday was drafted by the state senate, but the one that actually made it through both chambers and onto the governor’s desk is this one. Apologies for the error.
Although now that I’ve skimmed the enacted version, I’m not sure it requires citizens to carry papers either.
B. FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OF A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON, EXCEPT IF THE DETERMINATION MAY HINDER OR OBSTRUCT AN INVESTIGATION. ANY PERSON WHO IS ARRESTED SHALL HAVE THE PERSON’S IMMIGRATION STATUS DETERMINED BEFORE THE PERSON IS RELEASED. THE PERSON’S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c). A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE MAY NOT SOLELY CONSIDER RACE, COLOR OR NATIONAL ORIGIN IN IMPLEMENTING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SUBSECTION EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY THE UNITED STATES OR ARIZONA CONSTITUTION. A PERSON IS PRESUMED TO NOT BE AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES IF THE PERSON PROVIDES TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR AGENCY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
1. A VALID ARIZONA DRIVER LICENSE.
2. A VALID ARIZONA NONOPERATING IDENTIFICATION LICENSE.
3. A VALID TRIBAL ENROLLMENT CARD OR OTHER FORM OF TRIBAL IDENTIFICATION.
4. IF THE ENTITY REQUIRES PROOF OF LEGAL PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES BEFORE ISSUANCE, ANY VALID UNITED STATES FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT ISSUED IDENTIFICATION.
The “reasonable suspicion” requirement is still there (see yesterday’s post for more on that) but this version specifies that there have to be independent grounds for suspicion beyond race. Also new is the list of documents that someone can present to create a presumption that they’re here legally, although it’s unclear to me how that’ll work in practice. If you’re pulled over on suspicion of being illegal for whatever reason and you produce an Arizona driver’s license, does the cop then let you go (probably, in most cases) or does he get to hold you while he tries to come up with further evidence to overcome the presumption? Another open question — and this is the key for civil libertarians — is whether “reasonable suspicion” can be formed simply by virtue of the fact that the suspect isn’t carrying one of the ID types listed. If so, then cops could theoretically start pulling people aside on the sidewalk and hauling them in if they don’t produce their “papers.” I don’t read this section that way; it sounds like “reasonable suspicion” must exist before any “reasonable attempt” to verify the suspect’s immigration status is made. But if I’m misreading it and “reasonable suspicion” is satisfied if the suspect is guilty of nothing more than being Latino and forgetting his driver’s license at home, then they’re going to have a Category Five legal and political clusterfark on their hands when the first American citizens of Hispanic descent are mistakenly arrested.
There’s another section about ID later on:
A. IN ADDITION TO ANY VIOLATION OF FEDERAL LAW, A PERSON IS GUILTY OF WILLFUL FAILURE TO COMPLETE OR CARRY AN ALIEN REGISTRATION DOCUMENT IF THE PERSON IS IN VIOLATION OF 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1304(e) OR 1306(a).
Translation: If you’re here legally and you’re caught without your “papers,” i.e. your green card, you’re going to be fined. Obviously, though, this section doesn’t apply to citizens, and the carry requirement is already part of federal law. All this does is make it a crime under Arizona law too.
The more I think about it, the more I think this law is little more than a bargaining chip Arizona’s using to make the feds get serious about enforcement. They surely realize they’ll have no end of headaches from passing this thing, but no matter how much it backfires, they’ll still get to point at Washington and say, “You drove us to these desperate measures!” — which will put that much more pressure on Congress to seal the border when it finally takes up a new amnesty bill. Newly minted immigration hardliner John McCain is already playing that angle to the hilt, which means it’s open season for the rest of the Republican caucus to follow suit. I just hope The Artist Formerly Known as Maverick is prepared for damage control if/when Arizona cops start arresting American citizens. Won’t be pretty.